Report: Jason Bay close to signing with Mariners

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Jason Bay is “pretty close” to signing with the Mariners, according to 710-ESPN radio in Seattle.

Bay was released by the Mets with $21 million remaining on his contract, agreeing to take some of that money deferred into the future, so now he’s free to sign with any team for any amount.

As a high-priced everyday player Bay was obviously a huge bust in New York, but as a cheap, platoon bat available for a one-year commitment he’d make some sense as a bounceback candidate.

Bay hit just .234 with a .687 OPS in three seasons for the Mets, but even that putrid production included a decent .756 OPS versus left-handed pitching.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.